Bishop Eddie Long's wife files for divorce
Bishop Eddie Long has denied allegations that he sexually coerced male congregants.
December 2nd, 2011
09:29 AM ET

Bishop Eddie Long's wife files for divorce

By the CNN Wire Staff

ATLANTA (CNN) -Vanessa Long, the wife of Georgia televangelist Bishop Eddie Long, is not withdrawing the divorce petition filed Thursday, despite a statement issued through her husband's church indicating that she had reconsidered, her lawyer said Friday.

"Consistent with her original statement made this morning, Mrs. Long continues to hope that this matter may be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly; however, she has determined that dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time," said Michael W. Tyler, a partner with the Atlanta-based firm, Kilpatrick Townsend.

"To avoid any undue confusion, Mrs. Long's future statements, if any, will be issued through her attorneys only. At this time, neither she nor we will have any further comment on this matter."

The statement, sent Friday night, was the latest twist in a divorce saga that emerged Thursday, when lawyers for Vanessa Long filed divorce documents in Superior Court in DeKalb County, Georgia.

Vanessa and Eddie Long are "living in a bona fide state of separation," according to the 12-page petition. The documents adds she "is entitled to a divorce upon grounds that the marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken, there being no hope of reconciliation of the parties, and it being in the best interest of all parties concerned that this marriage be terminated by divorce."

On Friday, in a statement released to reporters by her lawyer, Vanessa Long said, "It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly. I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter."

But this appears counter to another statement also attributed to Vanessa Long and issued Friday afternoon by New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, 18 miles east of Atlanta.

According to that statement, she says, "Upon prayerful reflection, I have reconsidered and plan to withdraw my petition for divorce from my husband, Bishop Eddie L. Long. I love my husband."

Bishop Long is senior pastor of the church, which has more than 25,000 members, according to its website.

"I believe in him and admire his strength, and courage," Vanessa Long said, according to this statement. "My filing followed years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me.

"I love my family and church family, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Therefore, my husband and I have mutually agreed to find healing from these attacks. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time."

New Birth's website describes Vanessa Long as "the quiet strength" in the family. "She is an inspiration to many of the women at New Birth as they watch her lovingly and quietly support her husband in every sense of the word."

Long is being sued by former parishioners who accuse him of persuading them to invest in a Ponzi scheme that wiped out at least $1 million in their retirement savings.

And last spring, Bishop Long settled a lawsuit filed by four young men who accused him of pressuring them into sexual relationships while they were teenagers and members of Long's congregation at the same north Georgia church.

That suit alleged that Long "uses monetary funds from the accounts of New Birth and other corporate and non-profit corporate accounts to entice the young men with cars, clothes, jewelry, and electronics."

Long has preached passionately against homosexuality for years.

In an August interview, two of Long's accusers said they were haunted by what happened between them and the powerful pastor and added they are writing a tell-all book about their experiences.

"It's just not enough anymore. I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong," Jamal Parris, one of the accusers, told CNN affiliate WSB.

Parris pointed to a "JL" tattoo on his arm, which he said stands for "Jamal Long." He said Long was with him when he got the tattoo.

He said that he grew up without a father and that Long preyed on that vulnerability. "To have a man love me for just who I was. I just had to be me and love him back," Parris said.

–CNN's Mia Aquino contributed to this story in Atlanta.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Leaders

soundoff (866 Responses)
  1. buxxy

    Three dollar bill.....most of them are ego maniacs anyway. Not a surprise.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • tensor

      Hopefully, she first tossed out his stoopid Star Trek and leatherman/bondage outfits.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  2. Mr. McPheebee

    Sad. She knew she was married to a freak long before now. I guess as long as the money was coming in, she didn't care. Why do fools still give money to this clown and his so-called church?

    December 2, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Me NOT love you Long TIme

      like. that's many (not all) black churches for ya!

      December 2, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • midwestmatt

      Me NOT love you Long TIme-

      Hypocrisy has no color. This stuff goes on in every church no matter the predominant race.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Che

      @Mr. McPheebee, kindly note FAITH can Enslave you and that's what these lost souls in his Church don't know. The last time I checked, a bunch of white dudes used The Bible or Christianity to enslave my forefathers for 450 yrs. As people we're still wheeling from this bondage as painful as it is.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • TP

      Me NOT love you Long TIme

      forget Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker and Ted Haggard??? Idiot! It's in all churches not just Black.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bazoing

      TO Che: What 450 years? The country is a bit over 200 years old and slavery here lasted about 100 years. Elsewhere, slavery lasted a long time in lots of places and not all slaves were non-white.
      This guy is a creep and that has nothing to do with race.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Clarifying

      Che & Bazoing

      The first slaves were brought from Africa by the Dutch in 1619.

      The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Lindy

    Poor Eddie Loser.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  4. ATL Guy

    Hopefully she doesn't come out and say she's been having an affair with Herman Cain!!!!! He's from Atlanta, she's from Atlanta, he's a bishop, she's married to a bishop...... Anything's possible. 9-9-9!!!!

    December 2, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Tiger2

      ROTFL! That would be hilarious!

      December 2, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Ben Ken


      December 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Cain seems to be into the white meat.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    I P00P myself sometimes, I feel for Eddie.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • happypoet

      You made me laugh. Thanks. Probably the only funny thing about this. People who abuse kids make me have to restrain myself from getting out my carving knives for something other than wood. I wish I could ethically rationalize carving Long's wood.

      December 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  6. Darrell

    Just let your Soul-Glo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 2, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Ericka

      A jheri curl hair piece?

      December 2, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • seraphine

      Ha! Thats what it looks like. He is disgusting and pathetic in every way. He should be in jail.

      December 2, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  7. Anthony

    Proverbs 16:18

    Amplified Bible (AMP)

    Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  8. Aboutfreakintime

    Seriously...what took her so long. Herman Cain's wife...."take note"

    December 2, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  9. pumpkinseeds

    Off with his head!! Guess which one?

    December 2, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  10. rdude

    Another hypocrite hiding behind the pulpit.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Josh

      Hypocrites abound – whether it's behind a pulpit or behind a keyboard. Let me know when you find the "perfect" person. Won't hold my breath.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  11. it is sad

    Oh wow... another one of those "I didn't see that coming" moments. LOL, naw just kidding. He is now free to explore openly his love for fellow men.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  12. Tom

    Maybe she got tired of looking at that black puppy he's wearing on his head.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Eddie O.

      "Just let your soul glow!"...

      December 2, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  13. Damion

    We should all be praying for the Eddie Long family. We all have problems and storms that we go through. We are no better then they are. We should be praying that the lord will heal their marriage.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Dee

      We did and so they move on. He committed adultery and she is not responsible for any of that according to the good book. SHe is allowed to proceed with the divorce. Pray for her strength in the lord. That's the reality.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • James PDX

      I sure the Hell hope I am better than Eddie Long is. He is a disgusting piece of excrement. Please do not compare me to Eddie again or I'm going to have anal relations with your husband.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • happypoet

      This is not adultery Damion, this is a pervert preying upon children. This marriage is Mr Long's walk in closet. The foundation of this union was based upon deception. There is nothing to save. His s3xual preferences will not change. If you do not believe me... Look up the Mayo Clinic site on child s3xual abuse. The preference NEVER goes away, the best that can be achieved is the person will restrain himself from acting upon his desire for children.

      December 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    I'd say that one's spouse keeping a harem of teenaged boys is suitable grounds for divorce.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • happypoet

      In my Christian denomination the marriage would be proclaimed null & void, due to the deception involved. By concealing his s3xual preference, & leading a double life, he gave false vows by deception. A family member discovered her spouse was leading a double life with a gay partner, when that partner became HIV positive. Her marriage was annulled, as having been entered into under false pretenses. Children of such unions are held by the church to be legitimate, because the mother entered into HER marriage vows in good faith. The church restored her ability to marry again, without making her children illegitimate. Nasty of him, using her as a walk in closet. Fortunately, she did not contract HIV.

      December 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  15. TheBossSaid

    Does she get the Bentley?

    December 2, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Eddie O.

      Was it a Bentley or a Chrysler 300?...LOL.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  16. Cuervo Jones

    i hear a sucking sound as this freaks life goes down the toilet.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      That's not where the sucking sounds is coming from...

      December 2, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  17. Jerome

    Sounds like this guy was hustling the wrong folks. Greasy black hustler.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Dee

      Are you black?

      December 2, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  18. rick


    December 2, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  19. William Demuth

    Its a shame she didn't shoot him.

    He is a child molestor.

    December 2, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Me NOT love you Long TIme


      December 2, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Che

      Black women are not known for that. The burden and responsibility lies with the victims.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  20. hippypoet

    perhaps Eddie is not as long as his name suggests. I believe that is grounds for a divorce, the wife went into to the marriage under false pretenses...lol even the article is short! 🙂

    December 2, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Josh

      What a stupid comment.

      December 2, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • hippypoet

      hey josh, its better then your comment. ;~)

      December 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Josh

      Hey hippy,

      You're an idiot.


      December 2, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • hippypoet

      yeah! thats what i mean... it has a tad bit more substance but it is still lacking. mine is better still and most likely will be FOREVER!!!! 🙂 MUHAHAHAHAHAHA, you su.ck!

      December 2, 2011 at 10:03 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.